Monthly Archives: May 2011

The Bachelor–Show ’em how it’s done, kiddo.

I  think my daughter was asked out on her first date.  She’s eight.  He’s an older man–almost nine.  It went like this:

Older man:  “Hey.  You wanna come over for dinner?  My mom will say yes.”

My daughter (who is shy about things like this):  “Um.  I don’t know.  Mom, what do you think?”

Me:  “It’s fine if you’d like to, sweetie.”

Daughter:  “Mmmm…”

Older Man:  “Come on.  Please?  It’s macaroni and cheese!”

Daughter:  “I’m not sure–”

Older Man:  “Macaroni and chee-eeeese.”

Daughter (weakening):  “Well…”  She turns to me.  ” Mom, what are we having?”

Before I can answer, her new boyfriend slaps his forehead :  “Aw, come on!  Mac and cheese!”

She agreed.

I think he handled that well.  I watch The Bachelor and The Bachelorette (so sue me, I’m a romance writer) and I think this kid handled himself better than some of the bigger boys on that show.  He was persuasive.  Emphatic.  Clear about his intentions (eat the macaroni and cheese together), confident about the evening ahead.  I like him.  She could do a lot worse.  And, he lives right across the street.

After dinner, my daughter told me that if they get married they will buy a home down the block, so they can be close to both their families.

Yep, could do a whole lot worse.

Whew, that’s a load off my mind.

Wendy

 

 

 

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The Pillsbury Fart-off…uh, Bake-Off

As you know, Carolyn and I are addicted to entering the Pillsbury Bake-Off.  Every spring break from school is an opportunity to corral our kids (plus the offspring of anyone cruel enough to drop their progeny off at Carolyn’s place during this time of year) into one room and ply them with experiment after experiment…er, rather, delicacy after delicacy.  On this year’s menu:

Vermont Maple Cupcakes With Georgia Peanut Buttercream (going with a state theme).  This recipe required several attempts and never really came together.  The kids began eating enthusiastically then quite suddenly looked as if they’d been stricken with a deadly disease.  We gave ’em a little bicarbonate of soda and got right back in the saddle with…

Meatball Hoagie Bake.  This was not bad, though it was overly complicated and kinda unattractive.  Took three or four swipes at this one over a two-day period with eight children and four adults taste testing.  Final decision:  Nah.

Next up:  Carolyn’s soon-to-be world-famous Sweet ‘N Smoky Baked Breakfast Pancake.  OMG.  Incredible.  We all thought so.  She made it several times–for breakfast, for dinner, for a snack.  We tried other baked pancake variations, too, plus more sandwiches, a couple of appetizers and an entrée.  All together we made seven trips to the supermarket, spent…well, I can’t say on the chance one of our husbands is reading, and sickened eight otherwise hardy children.  I overheard this comment from one of Carolyn’s daughter’s friends:

“Can we stop eating now?  I’ve been farting all morning.”

“Me, too,” whispered Carolyn’s daughter.  “I think they’re getting tired.  They’ll stop soon.”

That’s what you thought, missy.

We kept at it until there wasn’t a creative thought left in our brains.  We kept at it until the smell of exhaustion overwhelmed the smells of butter, sugar, toffee and cinnamon.  And soon, very soon, we’ll be in Carolyn’s kitchen again, prepping for the next bake-off.  Why?  Because there’s a million bucks, new appliances, a trip to Orlando and the promise of fifteen minutes of Pillsbury fame riding on this one.

And because we came up empty when we Googled “Bake-Offs Anonymous.”

Wendy

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Filed under Children, Cooking, Humor, Marriage, Motherhood, parenthood, Pillsbury Bakeoff

Work all day to accomplish nuthin!

The following is sung to the tune of Tradition! From Fiddler on the Roof.

Oy! The minutia is killink me!

Minutia!  Minutia!  Min-oooo-shaaaa!  My-new-shoes!

I’m drowning in minutia.  Are you?  Here is a typical day at my house and the time spent on each ridiculous task.

 Wake up.  Determine that today I will get organized and accomplish much.  I will also eat well and exercise.  First, coffee!  (For that added burst of energy).  10 minutes

 Then, a few quick tasks at the computer.  Hmmm. Today I see I must join a Yahoo writer’s group.  How do I pick a name for my new email address?  Spend 20 minutes puzzling out how many ways I can spell my name with dots and underscores.  Now, I must choose an alias?  Spend 15 minutes toying with cute monikers.  How do I get into the chat room?  Spend 12 minutes cussing at my laptop.  Correctly fill out all fields.  Try to type in the wavy code .  5 minutes.

 The group decides to meet on Facebook instead.  Another 20 minutes, figuring out how to find them.

 Once on Facebook and in group, spend half hour congratulating each other and discussing how Yahoo sucks.

Get up to go ‘powder the nose’.  5 minutes

While gone, group moves back to Yahoo.  What was my new email address?  15 minutes spent searching.  Did I use a dot or an underscore between first and last names?  How do I find out?  Who do I ask?  What was my cutsie alias?  After some angst, figure it out, get back on Yahoo.  Find the others in the group.  1 hour total.

Move on to email.  Deal with 12 gogillion Spam mails.  Read all email.  Answer all email, except for the stuff that I don’t know the answers to.  Ignore that stuff.  Make people who are waiting for my answers angry.  2 hours.

Go to real mailbox.  Sort out the junk mail from the real mail. Get distracted by chocolate cookies that hubby brought home from work last night.  Stuff entire pile of paper into the laundry basket with all the other junk mail and bills.  Realize that I don’t have time to go through 17 bazillion pieces of mail because I have to set up the new computer first.  Accrue numerous late fees.  Credit rating plummets.

Take new computer out of box on desk.  Set it up.  New computer crashes.  Call trouble shooting hotline.  Talk to guy from India.  Take new computer apart with a butter knife and a paper clip.  Ask guy from India to repeat every sentence 6 times.  Fiddle with mother board.  Fiddle with wires.  Fiddle on the roof.  Per guy from India’s recommendation, repack computer and take it back to the store. 

No time to exercise.  Oh well.  Rush out (late) pick up kids.  Exchange computer.  Put box on desk.

Throw something into the oven.  Forget I put it in the oven till I smell something burning.  Throw it away.

 Husband comes home.  “So.  What did you do today?”

Me.  “I…well, uh…”  heavy sigh, “nothing.”

Carolyn

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The art of the arm fart

Hi, Everyone!  It’s raining–surprise!–in the Pacific Northwest.  Actually, the warm drizzle and gray sky are upping the cozy factor tremendously.  And, hey, who needs more sun spots?

My daughter is home with a nasty cold, so as we prepare for a cuddly day at home, I thought I’d inaugurate Witty Wednesday–a day to share the wacky, wonderful, witty or just plain weird witticisms of our pwecious wee ones.  I’ll go first; you go next.  Here’s what we heard at our house this week:

Daughter:  “Dad, do you arm fart?”

Dad:  “Not since I married your mother, honey.”

Daughter (looking at me and shaking her head sadly):  “That’s such a shame.”

Okay, share:  What have the little people in your life said?

Wendy…off to watch Dora….

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Filed under Bathroom Humor, Children, Humor, Motherhood, parenthood

Pul-lease

Please:  an adverb, used as a polite addition to requests, commands, etc.

I’m Jewish, but I often attend church with my Christian husband and our daughter, who, although she will gladly participate in Shabbat candle lighting and any holiday involving matzoh balls, has let me know emphatically that her spiritual path is different from mine.

Not a problem.  I believe God speaks to us in different languages and through many different faiths.  In fact, I love our little church with its diverse, devout congregation.  These folks live their lives in wholeness and holiness.  They walk their talk quietly and with enviable grace.

But the Sunday school?  Oy gevalt! 

Young children frequently forget their manners, of course, but what surprises me is the Sunday school teachers’ reluctance to rein in our vilda chaya.  Let me say here and now:  If my child develops a mental block around politeness, go ahead and correct her.

I am sure the disciples used “please” and “thank you” at the Last Supper.   I bet they helped clean up.  And when Jesus spoke, I’m guessing they gave him their attention.  I’m sure no one wants to offend a parent, but better you should offend me than allow my child to offend you.

Yes, “please” and “thank you” are my parenting pet peeves.  Over the years I have doled out a quantity of snacks roughly equivalent to the number of hors d’oeuvres served at Kate and Williams’ wedding.  I’m guessing I’ll double that output in the years to come.  How many thank yous have I heard from the children who are not mine?  Too few, dear reader, too few.

Now, I’m not claiming my precious angel is perfect.  Oh-ho no.  When we’re in Chinese restaurants, she still sucks the filling out of the egg rolls…oh, wait.  That’s me.  Well, her table manners aren’t the best, either.  She learned from her parents, after all, and we’re not on the Queen’s guest list, believe you me.

And, of course, my daughter has a few other habits we need to break.  Like sitting in lectures and workshops, rudely passing notes with her friends and giggling at things that have nothing whatsoever to do with the topic at hand–

Oops.  Me again.

Dang.  But the giggling in workshops thing?  Honestly, that is almost always Carolyn’s fault.  She talks to me and obviously I don’t want her to think I’m rude so I answer.  If you read “Girl Fight” and “Cat Fight” then you know a couple of weeks ago we dragged two formerly polite and gracious women down with us.

Honestly, what is wrong with adults these days?

What are your politeness pet peeves?

Wendy…off to learn some manners.  Thank you for reading.

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Filed under Children, Humor, Jewish, Motherhood, parenthood, please and thank you

Goodbye cruel world…

It only takes one complete lunatic to make the entire group look bad.  My kids tell me this all the time.  “Mom.  You’re making us look bad.”

But alas, I’m not talking about me.  I’m talking about Harold-This-Is-It-Camping. 

What? Me worry?

 

Being a born again Christian, I’m eagerly waiting for the rapture because the idea of dying has never been all that appealing.  My youngest daughter is the queen of surveys.  “Mom, if you were going to die, would you rather be frozen to death, or burned to death?”  “Uh…hmmm, I…uhhh…is there another choice?”   “Mom, if you took off all your clothes and slept outside naked, would it kill you?”  Depends if the neighbors mistook me for Sasquatch and shot me, I guess.  “Mom, what snake would you rather have kill you, a king cobra or a rattler?” 

Can ya see why having Jesus take me outta here and plant me in a garden for a feast is more attractive?

Annnyway, if today is the day, cool.  I won’t have to defrost the refrigerator because it will be lying under a pile of rubble and will take care of itself.

Unfortunately, Mr. Camping’s theology resembles nothing I ever learned in Sunday school and, since New Zeland was still standing as of 6pm (their time), I’m gonna go don the Playtex gloves and tackle the kitchen.  Pity.  One of my children was hopeful about getting out of geometry finals.  Tough luck, kid.

The one good thing to come out of all this fear-mongering is that it made me stop and think about how short this life is.  How precious every moment.  Right now, my teenagers are in our backyard tossing horseshoes in a patch of rare spring sunshine.  Think I’m going to skip the cleaning and go whup some kids at horseshoes.  Loser cleans the kitchen.

Carolyn

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Dear Cinderella, if you want to go to the ball CLEAN YOUR ROOM!

When my daughter was three, I asked her to please remove her clothing from the dining room floor.  Like a shot–and with a sweetheart smile–she picked up the offending items, uttering this keeper comment:  “Sure thing, sweetie, I’m here to clean.”

Adorable.  Thought I’d never have a moment’s trouble with this one.

Current conversation with daughter, now eight:

Mother:  I asked you to clean your room last Sunday.  It is now Friday.  Please clean your room or forfeit attending your school dance tonight.

Long-suffering child:  I don’t know what forfeit means.

M:  It means that if your room is not clean by five p.m., you will be in there at seven while your friends are enjoying Katy Perry in the school auditorium.  The choice is yours.

LSC:  I’m hungry.

M:  There’s enough food in your room to get us through a subduction zone quake.

LSC:  I don’t know what subduction zone–

M: GO!

Three minutes later…

LSC:  I’m done.  That was exhausting.

M:  You are not done.  I just started cleaning my office, and I’m nowhere near done.

LSC:  You’re slower than I am.

We march to her room (well, I march; she stops three times in the hallway to practice dance moves).

M:  What part of the room did you clean?

LSC:  What part did you want me to?

Obviously she has been watching too much I Love Lucy and I am about to have a Ricky Ricardo meltdown.

M:  Mira caquilla cosa–

LSC:  I don’t know what–

She is in her room again now, the radio blaring very dramatic classical music.  I hear her creating a story to go along with the music:  “I loved you.  Why did you leave me?  If you come looking for me, I will be in the dungeon….”

The Brothers Grimm and Disney have been stringing people along for years, making us believe Cinderella was an innocent victim.   HA!  How much you wanna bet her room was a pigsty, and that’s why she wasn’t supposed to go to the ball?  From now on I’m on Team Wicked Stepmother.

What tricks/ mandates/ bribes/do you use to get your kids to clean their pits?
Wendy

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Cat Fight–The REAL Story

Here’s what really happened.  Four of us meet for breakfast to talk about a writer’s conference trip we are all taking to New York this summer to land agents and fabulous book and movie deals on our fascinating and hilarious lives as romance novelists/mothers/wives/slash/hacks/dog owners and, you know, a couple of other projects we’ve got stashed under the bed that we’re gonna take out and dust off and turn into gold. 

Wendy is late, as usual.  Don’t get me started.  Anyway, she comes skidding in to the restaurant, drops to into her chair, snaps her fingers for the ‘girl’ then goes off on her wrinkle jag, which we all know is a bid for attention.  The woman is adorable.  I don’t get the whole, “Oh, look at my teensy wrinkle and feel sorry for me,” deal.  But we have to humor her.  “Yeah, yeah, Wendy.  What are ya gonna do about the grand canyons on your face today?”  Furtive eye-rolling behind the menu.

In fact, while she was blathering on about the wrinkle thing, I snapped a pic of her with my phone, just to prove my point.

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wait… I got it here somewhere…

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Oh.  Yeah.  Here.  Now.  I ask you.  Is this a face or is this a face?  I just want to gobble her up.

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"Clinique has this AMAZING new product that they claim firms and tightens..."

 

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Over coffee (we’ve migrated to Starbucks by now) the four of us figure out all the details of our trip to the eastern seaboard and decide to ditch the writer’s meeting we’d planned on attending that morning in Portland and hit the mall instead. 

Wendy was still nattering about this miracle stuff she was going to spend waaaaaay too much money on and I wanted to find some pants that would make me look 40 lbs. lighter.

As I was off looking for “skinny jeans” (sheyeah, what a crock) Wendy gave us the slip.  We finally found her seated in the chair behind the Clinique counter getting her upper lip spackled.  Okay.  I get it now.  The whole wrinkle cream gig isn’t about fixing your wrinkles.  No.  Oprah, are you listening, because this is the real SECRET.  Wrinkle cream IS NOT about ‘fixing a problem’.  It’s about ‘confusing the eye’.  It’s about slathering a whole bunch of gummy stuff on your lip and telling you that your wrinkles are gone and then charging you $174 + tax. 

Wendy, I’m only gonna say this once.  “The emperor has no clothes!  B-U-C-K Naked!

Of course your friends are going to tell you that the flaky, chalky, goofy crud on your upper lip looks great because we love you. 

"I can't nove ny lits cuz this stuff is sooter hard!"

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Truth be told, we simply had no where else to look.  We had to avert our eyes.  That’s why no one noticed wrinkles.  A person can’t see when they’re all squinty-eyed and cringing. 

Carolyn

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Filed under aging, BOTOX, Children, Cooking, Death, Dogs, Fifteen Minutes of Fame, friendship, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, parenthood, Weight gain, Weight Loss, wrinkle erasers, wrinkles

GIRL FIGHT

I got into a little scuffle with some of my dearest friends this past weekend, and I’d like us to publicly kiss and make up.

Here’s what happened:  Next month Carolyn and I are heading to New York with our friends Su, Darla and Ginger.  It’s going to be part business, part Thelma and Louise road trip sans most of the crime.  Last Saturday four of us met to work out the details and to hit the mall to pick up essentials.  The problem began at breakfast.  I arrived with wild hair and the bare minimum of makeup (I’m working on embracing the real me, remember).

They arrived beautiful.  I mean, just fabulous.  Hair freshly cut and colored, their makeup perfect, not a damn line on any of their post-menopausal-yet-dewy faces.  And it was only 8:30 in the morning.  I feel so happy that they are aging beautifully.  Really, I do.  I mean, I love these women.  But by the time my tea arrived, I was thinking about the ads I’ve been seeing for an Origins wrinkle eraser.  You get 83% of the effect of the injectables I refuse to use because I’m so self-actualized.

So, off we go to the mall and there it is—the wrinkle eraser.  A lovely 46-year-old (we asked) saleswoman with not a line on her kisser offers us samples.  Tiny little samples.  Well, looking at this saleswoman and at my friends, I begin to feel my self-actualization slipping southward.  I mean, it’d be just as easy to embrace myself with 83% of my fine lines and wrinkles softened a little, right?  So…

I took my tiny sample and my friends’ samples, too.  They don’t need them. 

 They got so upset.  They asked me if I’d let my daughter take her friends’ gifts.  Well, yes, I would in a case like this.  It would show discernment.  And, she’d be saving them from putting unnecessary chemicals in their pores.  But they grabbed their little packets back (rather forcefully, I’d say), and a brief physical skirmish in front of the Origins counter ensued.  Our saleslady and two of her coworkers suggested we stop it.

We haven’t really discussed the incident since, but I’ve been mulling it over, and I think we should make up right here, right now.

So apologize, girls.  And then gimme back my wrinkle erasers!!!!

Wendy

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Toohotmamas Celebrate Mother’s Day!

Wendy may be menopausal, but she can still swang her thang!        Carolyn

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Happy Mother’s Day!

I once wished my hubby’s uncle, an Italian mafioso type, to “Have a Happy Mother’s Day!”

To this he responded, in a grumpy, gravelly voice, “I ain’t a Mutha.”

Well.  Allrighty, then.

Be that as it may, it certainly does not mean you can’t have a Happy Day.  So.  Whichever nut you may be in your family tree, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

Carolyn

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